#78: Living in the present, cool Christianity, and the Bible’s buried bones.

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In this edition of the Ministry Minded Podcast, I invite you back to “Pastor Brad’s Corner” to talk about two weeks worth of sermons, including how to live peacefully in this present life that’s full of disruption, as well as what makes for a truly “successful” ministry. It can be hard, at times, to weather life’s seasons with hope and joy and peace. We are never aware of what the next season will hold. We could be facing a season of ministerial drought or familial loss, seasons which don’t in any way seem successful. When we’re in the middle of those incredibly trying times, all our thoughts run towards trying to get out of them. If only we could change or control the seasons and times! we think. But like the Preacher realizes in Ecclesiastes 2 and 3, all of life’s times are out of his hands. He cannot control them because he’s not the one who appointed them. The Master Appointer is the One who rules over all the changing seasons of life “under the sun.” And the sooner we realize that he’s given us this present life, this current season for our benefit, the sooner we’ll be able to live peacefully with what he’s gifted to us. (Ecc 3:11–13) As the ever-wise Gandalf says, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

Resources.

Stonington Baptist Church sermons

Jonathan Edwards’ “Resolutions”

Cool Christianity Is (Still) a Bad Idea,” Brett McCracken 

Pastor, Know Thyself, Aaron Menikoff 

Five Things Pastors Are Not, Pilgrim Benham 

The Gospel-Driven Church: Uniting Church-Growth Dreams with the Metrics of Grace, Jared C. Wilson 

Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture, David Murray 

Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers, Dane Ortlund 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood official trailer

The Parables of the Kingdom, Robert Capon 

Grace: So Much More Than You Know and So Much Better Than You Think, Brad J. Gray

Sponsor.

Fresh Roasted Coffee: a locally owned and operated coffee house in the heart of Central Pennsylvania that produces the freshest coffee and delivers it at peak drinkability. Use offer code “GRACE10” at checkout to get a discount off your next order.

Buy Some Coffee!

Notes.

I’m Brad Gray and I serve as the Senior Pastor of Stonington Baptist Church in Paxinos, Pennsylvania, where I live with my wife Natalie, daughter Lydia, and son Braxton. Besides pastoring, I spend most of my time writing, reading, and ministering in many more ways. I am resolved to faithfully and fervently propagate the gospel of “grace upon grace” for the weary and the worn out. It is my sincerest desire to live and minister all “for the sake of the Name.” (3 Jn 1:7) So long as Christ is exalted, that is enough.

Credits.

Intro music: “Explorers (Instrumental Version)” by The Midnight, The Midnight Music LLC, 2018.

Ad music: “Coffee Stains” by Finley, licensed under CC BY 4.0.